CELTICS vs LAKERS
-The Celtics had as much to do with giving that game to the Lakers as the Purple and Gold had to do with taking it. Making only 5 of 22 threes, committing 22 turnovers, openly bickering with each other, and foul trouble from the Celtics “all-star” point guard were major culprits in the 19-game streak ending.
-Kobe played brilliantly in the last 3 minutes of the game. Instead of forcing it and trying to be the hero, the Lakers got the win. Bryant amassed four assists, three defensive rebounds and hit two buckets. The first, perhaps quietly the biggest of the game, came 20 seconds after KG had just given the Cs the lead 81-79 after the Green men had been trailing all night. Kobe brought the ball down and hit a fadeaway 18-foot jumper from the right corner to tie the game back up. If the Lakers don’t have that bucket, Mr. Mo (momentum) would have swung completely in the Celtics favor, and the Cs, instead of bickering and forcing quick/tough shots, probably pull this one out and everyone today would be talking about the end-of-the-world for the Lakers and who needs to be traded and Phil needing to be fired, etc. etc.
-After that big bucket though, the double team started to come and Kobe just kept giving the ball up to Pau. Pau gets credit for being the key to the Lakers win and while he did shoot 3-3 from the field and 3-3 from the line, his looks were all directly related to the wizardry of 24.
-I’m almost at a point where I want the Lakers to scrap the triangle offense at different points during games. Especially against tough defensive teams. Blasphemous? Perhaps. But, when Kobe and Pau, or Kobe and Bynum play pick and roll, there’s not much teams can do to stop it. Well, that is unless Bryant decides to force things. If he keeps the ball moving, then no team, the Celtics included, can keep up with the excellent passing or the wide open looks Walton or Radmanovic (who barely played), or Vujacic are going to be getting. Odom and Pau are excellent passers and Bynum is a willing passer. This team should average 25-30 assists a game.
-I love D-Fish, but there is never a time in a Celtics/Lakers game where he needs to square up his defender, dribble back and forth for several seconds and then chuck up a shot without passing the ball (I counted three times he did this). With the talent and shooting prowess and creative ability of his other teammates, there’s never really a situation where Fish needs to run this play.
-Odom played confident. He needs to play with that swag in every single game. He’s the man on that second unit. He’s the go to guy, the focal point who makes everything happen. He played a great game. Solid defense. He put up numbers across the board with 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2 3s, 2 assists and 7 boards to go along with 10 points. As always, he’s the Lakers X-Factor. When he’s on, the Lakers are unbeatable.
-Gasol got nasty. He pushed back K.G. letting him know that he ain’t no Jose Calderon. He also gave a hard body check to Rondo. Poor kid was crumpled on the floor, feeling that blow last night, and I’m sure he's feeling it today. Oh yeah, and Pau sealed the game for the Lakers by hitting all of his shots in the last three minutes. Que fuerte!